How can we leverage big data technology to run efficient mines?

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This week, I had a conversation with a colleague that led me to think about how little we are using the available data at mines to facilitate better decision-making. And, consequently, how little advantage we take of the large amounts … Continue reading

Project cost overruns: Implications for public disclosure.

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There is a long history of cost overruns in mining. By some estimates, average cost overruns for mining projects range from 20 to 60%. This is, particularly, interesting when you think of the fact that most of our rules governing … Continue reading

Lessons we can draw from the Samarco tailings dam failure

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First of all, it is good to be back with you blogging again. As some of you might know, I spent most of 2015 and the first seven months of 2016 as an Academic Mining Engineering Fellow at the US Securities & … Continue reading

Software review: Optihaul 2.0

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At last year’s MINExpo, I was given a demo of Optihaul 2.0, which is described by the maker as a short- to medium-term truck and shovel optimization and simulation package. I had never seen this particular package before and I … Continue reading

Assessing uncertainty: What is the most important variable?

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Many mine engineering analyses involve uncertainty due to variability in input variables. Simple methods can be effective in some cases but can be limiting in others. Regardless of what approach one takes it is important to focus such analyses on … Continue reading

Of chance, uncertainty & randomness — Part 3: Applications & Mishaps

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In this three part series, I have attempted to explain Monte Carlo simulation and how it is used to evaluate uncertainty using a stochastic model. In Part 1, I explained the mechanics of the technique and then discussed distribution fitting, … Continue reading